Quick Tips to Save your Lens from dust

Dirt track motorsport is awesome photography - watch the dust fly!

Dirt track motorsport is awsome photography - watch the dust fly! And, spend time cleaning your camera afterwards!

Dust is death

…to a photograph. Spots distract the viewer and make for unnecessary post processing. They are most obvious when they appear on a bright continuous colour – like sky.

The trick is to keep your lens wiped regularly. Make sure you have a good lens cloth with you when out shooting. Replace it regularly to keep it from accumulating dust.

Dust is really invasive. You cannot see the really tiny particles. However, those particles penetrate the moving parts. Over time your lens function will be affected. So you need to wipe your camera regularly to preserve it.

You cannot help getting your equipment dirty. Rain drops, even tiny drops, form around dust particles. The particle remains suspended in the drop until it lands on your camera and dries! Then it leaves a particle of dirt on the case. There are lots of other ways to get dust on your camera too. Those ground level shots for the unique perspective don’t help!

The dust thrown up at a car rally is awesome. Great shots! But, you need to spend time cleaning the dust off afterwards. In particular, modern lenses are so high-tech that dust in the moving parts can ruin them. A dirty case will also deposit dirt inside your camera when you change a lens. Before you take the lens off, clean your lens glass and barrel and the camera case. Pay attention to the areas around the focus rings to remove dust near moving parts.

Dirt biking is great photography - clean up afterwards...

Dirt biking is great photography - clean up afterwards...

Doing the cleaning

After you have cleaned your lens glass – go the extra distance. Take another lens cloth – make sure it is a micro-fibre or low-lint cloth of some sort. Spray lens-cleaner straight onto the cloth. Make sure there is only a slight mist of spray on your cloth. The slight dampness will lift, and retain the dust, on the cloth (until it dries). Then do the same with a new cloth. This time wipe it all over your camera and lens barrel. Too much spay and you risk droplets running down the case into the focus rings. Liquid drops and moving parts do not mix! DO NOT spray your camera directly – it will blast a fine jet of liquid drops into the vital parts!

When you have wiped the camera/lens barrel with the misted cloth, gently dry the whole thing with another cloth. It is best not to mix the two cloths. Otherwise dust you have just wiped off will be rubbed back onto the clean casing as the spray on the cloth dries!

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Recommended cleaning tool
Dirt on your camera, or worse, on your digital sensor? You need this tool. An efficient blower, the stream of air will clear dirt and grit from damageable places. Use it to clear dirt from the camera sensor and to blow out dust . It is an indispensable tool for the keen photographer. Giottos GTAA1900 Rocket Air Blower – Black  External link - opens new tab/page.

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